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Sony Bravia KDL-46XBR4 LCD HDTV Print E-mail
Wednesday, 19 March 2008
ImageThe Basics:
Sony’s XBR4 and XBR5 lines represent the company’s top-of-the-line 2007 LCDs; the two lines are distinguished by aesthetic differences but offer similar features and performance. The KDL-46XBR has the same floating-bezel design as 2006’s XBR2/3 Series, with a clear acrylic border and a matte-black frame that houses the two speakers. For $300, you can customize the XBR4 with a different-colored bezel; options are silver, velvet black, scarlet red, Arctic white, sienna brown and Pacific blue.

The KDL-46XBR4’s marquee feature is its Motionflow 120-hertz technology, which doubles the TV’s frame rate from 60 to 120 Hz to minimize the appearance of judder and render smoother motion. Other worthwhile features include the use of a 10-bit processor and 10-bit display, the inclusion of three HDMI 1.3 inputs (including one on the side panel), TheaterSync for more intuitive control of HDMI-connected components and an adjustable backlight and light sensor to tailor brightness and black level to your viewing environment. It offers two color-space options: one produces highly saturated colors, the other produces more accurate colors.

The HDMI inputs accept 1080p/60 and 1080p/24, and the component video inputs accept 1080p/60. The TV features a lot of picture controls and all of the desirable aspect ratio options, including a zero-overscan mode.

The Upside:
This TV is capable of great light output and, thanks to the adjustable backlight, also renders good blacks for a standard LCD, leading to a nice overall contrast ratio. The TV renders color and good detail with both high- and standard-definition sources. Motionflow effectively reduces judder and can produce extremely smooth motion.

The Downside:
While the KDL-46XBR4 produces solid blacks for an LCD, its black level is not as deep as you’ll find in the best plasma and LED-based LCDs, although those models are more expensive than this TV. Motionflow isn’t as effective with fast-moving scenes, and it can make film sources look unnaturally smooth, an effect that some people find distracting.

The KDL-46XBR4 is a versatile performer. It does a nice job with both standard- and high-definition sources, and it’s a good fit for bright and dark viewing environments. The TV’s high-quality performance and generous features come at a price, though. This 46-inch HDTV is priced at the high end of the spectrum for similarly-sized flat panels.

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